What is the accurate translation of "Best Regards" to finish a letter?

  • To finish up a letter addressed to a client, I use Best Regards, followed by my signature.

    I've looked around for a direct translation, and came up with:

    ┌────────────────────────────────┬────────────────────┬────────────────────────────────┐
    │ Location                       │  Source used       │  Translation obtained          │
    ├────────────────────────────────┼────────────────────┼────────────────────────────────┤
    │ 1) http://dict.leo.org         │  best regards      │  mit besten Grüßen             │
    ├────────────────────────────────┼────────────────────┼────────────────────────────────┤
    │ 2) http://translate.google.pt  │  best regards      │  beste Grüße                   │
    ├────────────────────────────────┼────────────────────┼────────────────────────────────┤
    │ 3) http://answers.yahoo.com    │  best regards      │  mit freundlichen Grüßen       │
    └────────────────────────────────┴────────────────────┴────────────────────────────────┘
    

    1. Link to translation result at http://dict.leo.org

    2. Link to translation result at http://translate.google.pt

    3. Link to translation result at http://answers.yahoo.com

    I'm wondering which one of these direct translations is actually accurate, to be used when finishing up a letter addressed to a client?

    'Best regards' is actually a direct translation of the German *beste Grüße* - in English we would say "best wishes" or, more formally "kind regards".

    Plural _Grüße_ is common, but some use _Gruß_ if both addressee and sender are single individuals and don’t represent groups or institutions. Decades ago, it used to be common to end letters with a complete sentence that ended in something like _… und so verbleibe ich mit besten Grüßen Dein lieber Fritz_ or _Ich sende Ihnen und Ihrer Frau meine besten Grüße Ihr Fräulein Inge_. All variants you list are remnants thereof. Most people don’t ever consider anything else than standard `SgDuH` to open and `MfG` to close a formal letter or email. Justified deviation __can__ be good.

  • splattne

    splattne Correct answer

    9 years ago

    All three options are very common. In my opinion the most used (and maybe just a tick more formal than the other two) is

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen

    From a translator's point of view the most accurate of Best wishes is

    Beste Grüße

    Edit

    Here's a Google Ngram graph which shows that Mit besten Grüßen was always and is still used in German:

    beste Grüße vs. freundliche Grüße

    You could also use "Mit freundlichem Gruß" because in most cases you are only one person…

    @eeela: What's the person's singularity to do with the Grüße? Even a single person could send multiple Grüße. ("Liebe Hörer an den Radiogeräten und Radiogerätinnen!")

    Also fine: "Freundliche Grüße"

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM